Kings XI Punjab captain Ravichandran Ashwin put in a mesmerizing performance with both bat and ball to help the Shers do the double over Rajasthan Royals in the VIVO Indian Premier League.
Playing a batsman short as Sarfaraz Khan sat out, Ashwin promoted himself up the order to number seven and hammered Royals pacer Dhawal Kulkarni for two sixes and a four in the final over to set a competitive target of 183 for the visitors at the IS Bindra Stadium in Mohali on Tuesday.
"Going into the last over, we were 165 and Ashwin came in and hit 15 odd runs there, so that definitely helped us and gave us the momentum for the bowling performance, which is what you need," David Miller pointed out.
The KXIP captain then showed his charm with the ball as well, taking on the responsibility of being the frontline bowler yet again after Mujeeb Ur Rahman injured his shoulder while attempting to save a boundary. Keeping his economy rate at a staggering six an over with the opposition chasing in excess of 180, Ashwin displayed a real captain's performance as he picked up the wickets of Sanju Samson and the well-set Rahul Tripathi.
"He (Ashwin) has contributed extremely well with both bat and ball, especially his bowling has been extremely good with his economy rate really low and he's got wickets as well," said Miller, complimenting his captain's all-round abilities. "He's a huge asset in the bowling department and tonight was yet another great performance leading from the front."
It was only his second Man of the Match performance in the IPL.
"A spinner is someone who reinvents the wheel all the time," Ashwin declared. "For me it's about hitting various lengths at different speeds. The undercutter, the reverse carrom... I live by the sword and die by it. Plenty of people say I try too much, but it's good that I'm keeping on experimenting."